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​​​UpLift ignites start-up spirit  

UpLift is nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit of SA’s youth! © Pierre Tostee / Mr Price Foundation.

  

  • 56 youth graduated from the Entrepreneurship Development Programme in February.  
  • The programme helps transform business dreams into reality. 
  • The UpLift/Startup School partnership is rooted in a shared vision of unlocking tomorrow’s potential.  

 

Congrats to 56 Uplift-supported entrepreneurs, who recently graduated from Startup School’s Entrepreneurship Development Programme. They now stand on the exciting threshold of their journeys to self-discovery and start-up success! 

  

Their graduation in February was the culmination of a 12-week online programme, which commenced in September 2023. Another cohort embarked on this same intensive journey on 19 February. 

   

“We are excited to fan the entrepreneurial spirit of South Africa’s youth,” said Karen Wells, Head of Mr Price Foundation.  

  

“South Africa needs more young entrepreneurs if we are to tackle job creation and poverty alleviation in our communities. This holistic programme equips youth with entrepreneurial skills and opportunities to start their own enterprises. We look forward to seeing their start-ups make a meaningful impact in a range of industries, from agribusinesses to fintech solutions,” said Karen.  

 

Jared Kruger, Startup School Head of Education, said their partnership with Mr Price Foundation’s UpLift programme was forged in 2023.  

 

“The partnership is rooted in a shared vision of unlocking untapped potential and nurturing entrepreneurial spirit. We take a strategic approach of investing in candidates with an appetite for entrepreneurship and who may already be invested in their side hustles,” Jared said.  

 

The 12-week Entrepreneurship Development Programme helps students transform their business dreams into reality. Students benefit from expert coaches and seasoned entrepreneurs; a comprehensive curriculum covering business planning, marketing strategies and financial management; networking opportunities and funding opportunities. 

  

One of the graduates, 20-year-old Siphosethu Tokoms from East London, said he gained a deeper understanding of business – and himself. “I enrolled to gain business knowledge, however the programme helped me to introspect and take accountability for my life. I am grateful for the opportunity,” Siphosethu said. 

  

Another, 34-year-old Lebani Mgimeti from Kempton Park, said the programme broke him out of a holding pattern of uncertainty. “The course helped me gain a better understanding of my business. I am now able to articulate my vision more clearly,” Lebani said. 

 

Jared said that the entrepreneurial spirit burned brightly within South Africa’s youth. “Over 11 000 applications have been received for the 12-week online programme since it was launched in 2017,” he said. 

 

The UpLift/Startup School partnership is a proud enabler of dreams, aspirations, and the immense potential of the next generation.  

  

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Publication date: March 2024

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